From the NYT report on the Siberia meteor:
“I opened the window from surprise — there was such heat coming in, as if it were summer in the yard, and then I watched as the flash flew by and turned into a dot somewhere over the forest,” wrote Darya Frenn, a blogger. “And in several seconds there was an explosion of such force that the window flew in along with its frame, the monitor fell, and everything that was on the desk.”
“God forbid you should ever have to experience anything like this,” she wrote.
[ . . . ]
Valentina Nikolayeva, a teacher in Chelyabinsk, described it as “an unreal light” that filled all the classrooms on one side of School No. 15.
“It was a light which never happens in life, it happens probably only in the end of the world,” she said in a clip posted on a news portal, LifeNews.ru. She said she saw a vapor trail, like one that appears after an airplane, only dozens of times bigger. “The light was coming from there. Then the light went out and the trail began to change. The changes were taking place within it, like in the clouds, because of the wind. It began to shrink and then, a minute later, an explosion.”
“A shock wave,” she said. “It was not clear what it was but we were deafened at that moment. The window glass flew.”
I can’t imagine witnessing something like this. If I had seen this with my own eyes where I live, particularly when I was living in DC, I believe I would have immediately assumed it was a weapon, that we were being attacked, that we may be about to die.
I almost can’t believe there wasn’t total panic in Chelyabinsk. Those Russians are made of stern stuff.